2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The A-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The A-Class has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the A-Class and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (188 vs. 184) than the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A 220 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sedan 45 TSFI Quattro (25 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Sedan:

 

A-Class

A3

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.7 inches

The A-Class stops shorter than the A3 Sedan:

 

A-Class

A3

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

156 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A-Class’ wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (107.4 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The design of the Mercedes A-Class amounts to more than styling. The A-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the A3 Sedan (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the A-Class a Compact car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The A-Class has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (93 vs. 86).

The A-Class has 3.8 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The A-Class has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the A-Class, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the A-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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